In Pictures - Manila Dialogue on Migration


Photo Credit: Steve McCurry

Haryatin, now 35, from Indonesia, abused in Saudi Arabia.

“Once I had said, ‘If you don’t like me, please send me to the office, please send me home.’ She said, ‘How nice, how lucky you are to go home. If I don’t like, I just hit or I kill you.’”

Haryatin needed money to pay for her daughter’s education. She worked for a woman with nine children who continually insulted and hit her and made her sleep in a storage room. At 3 a.m. while Haryatin was washing school uniforms, her employer rubbed the baby’s faeces-filled diaper into Harayatin’s face because the maid hadn’t been quick enough to change it. Soon afterwards Haryatin lost her sight after being hit on the head with a pipe. She was forced to stay, and keep working, until the swelling disappeared. 



Photo Credit: Steve McCurry

Saraswati, now 19, from rural Nepal, abused in Nepal.

“She took me to my room and started beating me with her hand. Pulling my hair. With no one at home to stop her, she would beat me a long time….The Government should not allow children to be used as domestic workers.”

Sarawati became a domestic worker aged 12 because her family could not afford to send her to school. A shopkeeper helped her escape from an abusive employer, but her next employer, in Kathmandu, was even more abusive. She has scars on her forehead and knee. She still works as a maid but is now finishing her education and helps other domestic workers learn about their rights.


Migrant photo 2

Photo Credit: Steve McCurry

Labor migration however is not just an issue of people movement. It intersects with human rights, the protection of dignity, and access to health, development, education and freedom from fear. Unfortunately, the global increase in labor migration has been accompanied by a rise in exploitation and other abusive labor practices by employers and employment agencies..